Manoj Bajpayee on marriage with Shabana: She’s a proud Muslim, I’m a proud Hindu | Bollywood - Hindustan Times

Manoj Bajpayee on marriage with Shabana: 'She’s a proud Muslim and I’m a proud Hindu, but there's no clash'

Apr 06, 2023 11:57 AM IST

Speaking exclusively to Barkha Dutt on Mojo Story, Manoj Bajpayee said him and his wife Shabana Raza have never had differences on religion.

Manoj Bajpayee has said that people may have had objections to his marriage to Shabana Raza, but they never had the courage to speak about it to his face. The actor added that he has a bad reputation for his temper, and that is why people refrain from making such statements. (Also read: Manoj Bajpayee says Ram Gopal Varma scolded him for Sapne Mein Milte Hai remix)

Manoj Bajpayee with wife Shabana Raza and daughter Ava Nayla. (Varinder Chawla)
Manoj Bajpayee with wife Shabana Raza and daughter Ava Nayla. (Varinder Chawla)

Manoj and Shabana married in 2006, years after they first met at a party. Shabana Raza, is also known as Neha Bajpayee, and has worked in films such as Kareeb (1998).

Asked about facing societal or family pressure for marrying Shabana, Manoj exclusively told Barkha Dutt on Mojo Story, “Had there been any, it was not conveyed to me, it was not made obvious to me. I come from a Brahmin family, she comes from a reputed family. But, surprisingly, none of my family members objected to it. Never. (have there been comments on the caste or religion). Till now, never.”

Manoj added that both his wife and him are more spiritual than religious beings. “She’s a proud Muslim, like I’m a proud Hindu, but it doesn’t clash with each other. Because we are more spiritual than religious. Even if they would’ve talk about the religion of my wife, they could not have the strength or the courage to speak to me, on my face. Because they know that I don’t mince my words. I’m very hard when it comes to anyone talking like that. I come very, very hard. I’m a tough guy then.”

Manoj added that he does not take it nicely if someone talks ill about communities or religions, even among friends. He said that he used to have a temper, and people still talk about it. However, he added that he finds it embarrassing now when friends such as filmmakers Anubhav Sinha and Hansal Mehta talk about it.

In the biography Manoj Bajpayee- Kuch Paane Ki Zid, Manoj had shared about the time he first saw Shabana. The book quoted Manoj as saying that Shabana's simplicity caught his attention when he spotted her at a Hansal Mehta party. She had no makeup on her face, had oil in her hair, and was wearing glasses.

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